Sarah Kaufman certainly has logged more cage time than any other female on the PFL roster, which is why selecting to walk over to the semifinals wasn’t too difficult of a choice.
Kaufman was scheduled to face Roberta Samad in July before Samad missed weight, giving the already No. 1 seed Kaufman the choice to either fight or move on automatically to the playoffs.
With a guaranteed paycheck, Kaufman didn’t see the point in taking potential unnecessary damage. The tournament format already set her next fight, and the goal is to make it to the finals to try and win $1 million.
“For sure I would have loved to have fought a second time to have that continuous momentum pushing forward,” Kaufman told MMA Junkie. “But I’ve had a lot of long breaks in between my fights, and so May to October, it’s actually not that bad. It’s still pretty close together, and July to October would have been even better, but it’s not like it’s been a year or something like that. And I have 25, 26 fights at this point, so I have more experience in the octagon, in the cage than any other females in the division, so it might have been a bigger deal for them.”
A bantamweight her entire career, the former Strikeforce and Invicta FC 135-pound champion had to move up two weight classes in order to compete for the million-dollar prize PFL is offering.
“I physically feel great,” Kaufman said. “It’s been a different experience to be able to eat fully throughout the entire camp and not be thinking about cutting things back. It’s been really nice and fortunate in that sense. I’ve been working on maintaining my strength and muscular endurance in preparation of going against some bigger, stronger girls.”
Kaufman takes on Larissa Pacheco this Friday at PFL 7 in Las Vegas. It’s a stylistic matchup that she’s really looking forward to.
“I think that she’s great,” Kaufman said. “She’s tenacious. She’s strong. She’s technically quite proficient, and her ground game is clearly where she likes to be, but she is willing to strike, so that makes for a really fun fight and a fight that I can kind of keep the pressure on and have a good time. You don’t want to be crazy and just go in there and throw all caution to the wind. I want to make the finals, and I want to fight in a way that’s not going to get me caught in something stupid, but it’s going to be a good fight for me.”
On the other side of the bracket is a matchup between the undefeated and highly touted Kayla Harrison, who takes on Genah Fabian. While most people are anticipating a final between Kaufman and Harrison, Kaufman doesn’t really care whom she meets.
Her focus is on something bigger.
“The million dollars gets me really excited,” Kaufman said. “At the end of the day, that’s really why I joined the PFL division, was to earn that big prize and get paid what I deserve to be paid for my skill and the years that I put into this sport. I think when I, and if Kayla, makes it to the finals, that’s the fight that’s going to be the biggest because it’s been hyped the most throughout the season. But if Genah wins that fight then that’s who I’m fighting. It’s going to be just as big for me to win that million dollars.”
And what would she do with that $1 million?
“I don’t actually care about the money, aside from it’s going to be a retirement and something I can use in the future, and it’s pretty cool, but that’s it really,” Kaufman said. “It’s one of those things: I won a million dollars; it’s not going to change my life in terms of how I live my life. It’s just going to give me that security and some retirement money for when I finish up fighting, when I finish up my career in martial arts, and it would be nice to have that.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Sarah Kaufman isn't worried about layoff heading into PFL semifinals